Gaye Mack’s Blog

THE ZODIAC OF TIME: GLASTONBURY’S ENIGMATIC TOR –FROM PREHISTORIC ORIGINS TO LONDON’S OPENING CEREMONIES FOR THE 2012 OLYMPICS

Posted on by Gaye Mack in Ancient Legends of Great Britain, Gaye's England, Scotland & Wales, Karmic and Self-Discovery Astrology 4 Comments

About a year ago, I posted a blog about one of my most favorite places in England, Glastonbury Abbey, the site of Britain’s earliest devotion to Christianity.  In that blog I mentioned Glastonbury’s famous Tor only in passing.  The truth is that in reality, this ‘hill’ (for the translation of ‘tor’ is hill) deserves so much more as witnessed by the fact that Danny Boyle, producer for the opening ceremonies of the summer Olympics, chose it as a very graphic focal point.

 Reaching back into ancient times, the myths surrounding the Tor are extensive in scope.  From a small guide produced by the Gothic Image, THE bookstore in Glastonbury, we’re told that the Tor has been called, “a magic mountain, the fairies’ glass mountain, a spiral castle, a Grail castle, the Land of the Dead, Hades, a Druid initiation center, an Arthurian hill-fort, a magnetic power-point, a ley-line crossroads, a center for Great Goddess fertility rituals and celebrations, and a converging-point for flying saucers.”

Scientific proof of several of these myths eludes…although it has been established that the Tor is a ley-line crossroad.  As for other suggestions, what I can say is that having climbed the Tor on several occasions over the years, there is something very other worldly about its energy and atmosphere…time and space seem to inexplicably dissolve.  My mentor in evolutionary astrology, Steven Forrest, would no doubt say, it’s  positively ‘Neptunian’!

Rising 518 feet through the (often) misty landscape, the Tor suddenly manifests in the distance as you round an eastbound curve on the A361 outside of Glastonbury…not unlike the sudden appearance of Stonehenge, which stands starkly isolated on the Salisbury Plain.  And like Stonehenge, once you see it, it’s difficult to keep your eyes on the road.

 Among more recent speculations regarding the Tor are those ascribed to a British artist, Katharine MaltwoodIn 1935 Maltwood announced her aerial discovery of a ‘vast terrestrial Zodiac’ revealed through the topography of the Tor and surrounding countryside.  While her claims of zodiacal connections are abstract within the framework of what we think of as the traditional Zodiac, there is evidence that Maltwood had company in making such claims by Queen Elizabeth I’s celebrated astrologer, Dr. John Dee.

 So much has been written about this landmark that even if you never have the opportunity to visit it physically, you can read and let your mind cross the barriers of reality which is exactly why I chose it to play a significant part in my book, “A Conspiracy of Ravens” the second of historical mysteries in my “Flight Through Time” series, currently in production.

 As for the closing ceremonies of the Olympics; I wouldn’t be surprised to find that we haven’t seen the last of Glastonbury’s Tor.

         St.  Michael’s Tower, from which Glastonbury’s last Abbot, Richard Whiting was hanged, drawn and quartered

                                  by Henry VIII’s men for refusing to reveal secrets of Glastonbury Abbey at the time of the dissolution

      Photography©Gaye F. Mack, Inc.


WHEN THE SUN MOVES INTO LEO, LIONS MAY NEED EDWARD BACH’S ELM AND VERVAIN REMEDIES FOR EVOLUTIONARY BALANCE

Posted on by Gaye Mack in Balance, Karmic and Self-Discovery Astrology Leave a comment

On July 22nd, the summer sun left the quiet, nurturing sign of Cancer,  and roared into the fire sign of Leo.  No doubt about it, nothing is quiet about this sign.  Jupiter may be the king of planets, but Leo is royalty in the zodiac and like royalty, all things are about ‘expression’.  Where Cancer prefers involution, Leo thrives on evolution… “All the world’s a stage” for The Lion.  Like its feline counterparts, Leos like to preen, be seen AND HEARD! And, because this sign rules the zodiacal 5th house of ‘creativity’ (among a few other things), there’s an innate flair for dazzling drama other signs can only sigh and fantasize about (well there are a few exceptions about the fantasy thing, which I’ll leave for you to speculate on!)

Like all astrological  signs, Leo has a shadow side that can get in the way of its soul evolution.  In the body, Leo traditionally rules the heart, blood and cardiac system.  Typically those born under a well aspected Leo sun have big hearts but never doubt that they need to shine.  In evolutional astrology, the Leo sun is here to develop personality and ego, but there can be predictable bumps along this path.

Leo is a ‘fixed sign’ like Taurus and Aquarius.  Despite the lion’s endearing enthusiasm for ‘going big’, he or she, can become zealous, overbearing, over the top, intense and prideful along the way.  And, they can easily take on too much, more than they can handle and in the end,  burn themselves out.  When Leo moves into any of these energies, Dr. Edward Bach’s flower remedies, Elm and Vervain, immediately come to mind as resources for getting the lion back on track. 

 Elm is typically regarded as a ‘temporary’ mood state (which is why it’s another remedy I have in the big bottle on my desk!).  “Overwhelmed Elm” succinctly describes the mood, which is one that overachieves, takes on way too much and then hits the wall.  The action of the Elm remedy is one that shifts the perception of everything being ‘priority’ to one of prioritizing in the very ‘Capricornian’ manner of one foot in front of the other; chop wood, carry water.

 As one of Dr. Bach’s original ‘Twelve Healers, the energy of Vervain is both a mood state and a soul type.  Vervain is all about ‘over enthusiasm’ fighting for the underdog, seeing the ‘right’ in all things.  Vervain is ‘heart centered’, but like the well meaning Leos, when this soul type or the temporary mood state moves into its negative or shadow energy, it becomes intense, zealous and can be intolerant.  The beauty of this remedy is that its energy brings these shadow behaviors into balance, particularly regarding tolerance so that the soul can come through, bringing harmony to the Leo’s heart with evolutionary intent.   

ELM

VERVAIN

Photography©Dr. Edward Bach Foundation


GLASTONBURY ABBEY’S GREAT FIRE OF 1184–WAS PETER D’MARCY AN ARSONIST?

Posted on by Gaye Mack in Ancient Legends of Great Britain, Gaye's England, Scotland & Wales, Writer's Work Leave a comment

The Great Fire of 1184, which all but destroyed Britain’s oldest site of Christianity, Glastonbury Abbey,  is legendary.  For 900 years, myth and speculation have flourished as to the cause of this catastrophic event.  The majority speculation put forth by historians is that unusual winds on the morning of May 25, 1184 were responsible, causing an entry curtain to the ‘Holy of Holies’ in the ‘Ecclesia Vestuta’ (old church) to catch fire from burning candles.  Regardless of the cause, the initial sparks of flame combined with the high winds took the famous abbey to the ground in a matter of hours; it’s precious documents destroyed along with its treasures melted by heat and countless graves of monks, abbots and saints.

 However, when I was researching this event for my historical mystery, “A Conspiracy of Ravens”, I discovered Adam of Damerham.  Adam was a 12th century monk who wrote a history of the abbey and where the Glastonbury fire is concerned, Adam had an entirely different theory as to its cause.   Following the death of the beloved Abbot Robert in 1178, King Henry II assigned the position of ‘Custodian’ to Peter D’Marcy, a Cluniac monk who had some kind of relationship to Henry.  Despite the desires of the Glastonbury monks for Henry to name a proper abbot, the king stalled.  With no abbot in place it gave the wily monarch direct access to Glastonbury’s wealthy treasury, a resource which Henry needed to finance his wars with the French. Thus, as a compromise, he named D’Marcy to oversee the Glastonbury community.

 Unfortunately Peter proved to be very unpopular for a variety of reasons.  He nearly drove the abbey into the ground financially, was relentlessly diabolical in his scheming to manipulate his way to the abbot’s chair, not to mention the  suspicion that Peter  ‘compressed’ (as in eliminated) certain monks who were obstacles to achieving this goal. As an interim solution and effort to appease the monks, Henry then appointed Hugh of Avalon (who would later become Hugh of Lincoln, the most revered saint after Becket) to ‘supervise’ D’Marcy.  Things did not go well with this arrangement either.

 By December of 1183, the hatred of D’Marcy was beyond rampant.  In one final scheme to endear the monks to his cause of obtaining the ‘abbot’s chair’, D’Marcy, his mental state now suspect, planned a ‘faux mass’ on Christmas Eve in the ‘Ecclesia Vestuta.’  This blasphemous act was the last straw with the Glastonbury community and one can only imagine how the monks reacted.   Adam of Damerham speculates that in retaliation,  D’Marcy set fire to the abbey.  Interestingly, historians note that while he survived the fire, shortly afterwards D’Marcy died from ‘unknown causes.’

“A Conspiracy of Ravens” is the second of my planned six book historical mystery series, “Flight Through Time”, which is in production.


DR. BACH’S ANTIDOTES FOR AFTER SHOCKS OF PLUTO’S EXACT HIT ON URANUS

Posted on by Gaye Mack in Balance, Karmic and Self-Discovery Astrology Leave a comment

While it may seem that there’s overkill chat regarding the Pluto/Uranus square and the first of seven exact hits this past Sunday, the reality is… not really.  Or, put another way to coin a phrase, ‘it’s never enough’.  Globally and on all levels, all of us are going to be living with this energy as it builds and wanes, builds and wanes until the final of the seven exact hits occurs March, 2015. 

How and where this energy is affecting us personally as we navigate this passage is and will be very individual.  Outwardly we’re already witnessing its effects in Mother Nature’s rage environmentally along with the struggle for political change around the globe. 

As I’ve mentioned previously, Pluto is currently in Capricorn where its mission is to break  up and eliminate those things and structures that no longer serve.  On the other end of the square, Uranus is sitting in Aries where as a restless rebel, it’s  full of aggression. 

Thus, this circumstance begs the question, what can we call upon to calm our own turbulent waters of emotion so that we may respond with clear vision and action to the environment around us?

As I wrote in Igniting Soul Fire, Spiritual Dimensions of the Bach Flower Remedies, Dr. Edward Bach did explore the subject of astrology as it related to his 38 Bach Flower Remedies.  Nevertheless, in his writings which are scant, he admits to stepping away from his theories of such connections because,  ‘one wants to be sure’.  However in Igniting, I speculate that while he made this statement publicly, privately I find it hard to believe that he did so; he was too esoteric in his philosophy and explorations.  Perhaps he felt the time wasn’t quite right for such speculation and therefore decided to leave it to others who would follow him.   

 Without delving too deeply into the whys and wherefores through the astrological lens, I offer these interpretations with remedy suggestions as a starting point for calming the internal reactions that may be stirring up for you. 

 I begin with the reminder (again) that each of Bach’s 38 possesses multiple subtleties when it comes to choice consideration, similarly to the numerous contemplations an astrologer ruminates across when interpreting the planetary relationships in a chart.

This said, Bach’s remedy Mimulus is classically suggested for calming ‘worldly fears’.  In other words, whether it’s an ongoing phobia or situational fear, you KNOW what’s frightening you.  You can finish the sentence, “I’m afraid of…”  You can name it and it relates to the mundane of everyday life AND I add from an evolutional perspective, our past…in this life  as well as perhaps a prior life which carries karma that has now ripened to be dealt with.  With Pluto currently sitting in the sign of Capricorn, which is ruled by Saturn, there’s an energetic theme that demands we dig deep (Pluto) in order to  come face to face with long-denied fears (Saturn) and thus claim our power through transformation (Pluto). 

Among Mimulus’ attributes is the energy of courage; here there’s no coincidence, for ‘courage’ is a positive characteristic of the warrior planet Mars… which rules the sign of Aries… right where Uranus the rebel, is currently sitting! However, when Aries isn’t balanced it becomes (among other unattractive attributes), impatient! Happily, there is a remedy for this and it’s Bach’s Impatiens which also happens to be in his famous combination, Rescue Remedy.

Thus, we have two initial remedies capable of supporting us through the challenges ahead.  For directions on how to use them in combination as well as other information on flower remedies, please refer to my website:  http://www.gayemack.com

                                                                             MIMULUS

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

IMPATIENS

Photography©Dr. Edward Bach Foundation



AS SATURN TURNS DIRECT WE CAN EXHALE AND PERSEVERE IN WRITING MODE SURVIVAL WITH THESE REMINDERS

Posted on by Gaye Mack in Worth the Read, Writer's Work Leave a comment

After five months of pure slog, Saturn, the ‘old Devil’, the task master in everyone’s chart, has finally finished his retrograde motion, Stationing Direct as of today.  When Saturn turns retrograde, his energy commands us to review, rethink and redo, sometimes over and over.  So if life or particular efforts have seemed stuck or full of chronic frustrations in a particular area since early February, making it seem as if you’ve been walking up the down escalator; this is no accident.  Most likely it’s the energy of this retrograde with specific purpose in mind and our best interests at the heart.   As I’ve said in prior posts, the energy of a planet’s retrograde is to encourage us to go inward, to contemplate, consider, revise.  In other words, a course correction. 

Highly respected evolutionary astrologer, Steven Forrest, identifies among Saturn’s ‘jobs’ as representing development of self-discipline, self-respect, faith in our destiny AND making peace with solitude.  I can’t think of any other phrases that hit the nail on the head when it comes to  critical characteristics required in the perseverance of writing, regardless of whether we are speaking about writing fiction or non-fiction.  I may have mentioned this in a prior blog, but it bears repeating here, I think.  Years ago, I had a very well-known astrologer and author tell me, ‘writing is the loneliest, hardest, work you will ever do.  Nearly forty years later I have to agree, this is as true today as it was  when I was just starting out as an undergraduate.

Ironically, as if right on time, this morning I received a blog posting notice from Susan Lakin’s ‘Live Write Thrive’ blog on which she posted an article from her guest, Brian Feinblum who blogs at Book Marketing Buzz.  The title of this post is, 16 Tips on How to Survive and Thrive as a Writer.

Brian’s article is excellent and incredibly timely for those of us who ‘write to thrive’  within Saturn’s recent energy framework over the last five months.  What follows is Brian’s brief introduction and his first five points of how to survive as a writer.  However, I encourage you to read his full article at Susan’s blog.  It’s ‘well worth the read’!

Today, people believe they can social network their way to the top, that they are one witty tweet or one viral video away from making millions. They want to be on a reality show, they want to blog their way to fame, they want to create the next Facebook—but they fail to put in the hard work that is needed.

Those involved in book publishing seek to cash in their lottery ticket. Everyone who writes a book has the hope—even the expectation—that they will have a best-seller on their hands. Who is there to give them a tissue box when their Book Scan numbers don’t register beyond a blip of sales? But, reality aside, here’s the pep talk all writers will need at some point in their careers. Put aside the need for hard work, luck, connections, great writing, hiring professional help, etc.

 The 16 Tips for Thriving

  • Always believe in yourself. You have something to offer others, something worth sharing, something unique and special.
  • Know the experts are not always right. There is rarely one singular way to do anything. Find your own style and way to do what you need to do to succeed.
  • Never accept defeat. Change course, yes. Give up, no. Admit you made an error or mistake but don’t throw in the towel.
  • Learn from others. Copy the habits of successful people when it suits you but don’t be just like them. The world needs you—not a replica of someone else.
  • Realize you can improve every aspect of your writing, editing, publicity, marketing, sales, distribution, etc. Push the bar higher and keep reaching beyond your comfort zone.